Why Did Mikasa Kill Eren In Attack On Titan? Motives Unravelled!

From a 4 day old to a 2000 year one, when Mikasa killed Eren, it ended two bloody conflicts that brought suffering in their own special ways.

Mikasa With Eren's Head

Hi, did you read the manga?

Its understandable if you didn’t understand the intentions behind Mikasa killing Eren (not really). With Attack on Titan escalating in its final two chapters, we thought it couldn’t get more complex.

That is, until the extra panels for 139 dropped. All of a sudden, we saw parallels that we couldn’t before.

Attack on Titan is just another phrase for painful surprises.

Well, Eren dying wasn’t really surprising. Eren was in no mood to reach middle ground without a fight, hence a bloody end seemed inevitable.

That being said, it only makes sense for Mikasa to kill Eren right? How else could Isayama give us one last heart attack if it was any other way?

With the multi dimensional approach to the story, there is no simple answer to why Mikasa killed Eren in Attack on Titan.

In this article, let’s look over the two main reasons to understand why Mikasa killing Eren added more weight to the story.

To Stop The Rumbling

The four year time skip in the story changed quite a few things. Most notably, a shift in Eren’s behaviour. Over the span of a few chapters, it becomes obvious that there is a wall between him and the others.

As the story progresses it gets obvious that at the climax Eren would be standing alone without the support of his comrades.

It really does tug at your heartstrings when you look back at the previous arcs that solidified their love and dedication for not only their shared goal but for each other.

Unfortunately for Armin, there was no room to talk and make things better at the end and the only way forward was for Mikasa to take the decisive step. However, the story was progressing in a way that this was bound to happen. Let’s take a better look at things in perspective to understand why Mikasa killing Eren shouldn’t be hard to digest.

Firstly, Eren managed to go rogue when the Survey Corps landed in Liberio. He walked out of the convention the group was attending once the meeting’s stance proved futile.

The others did not see him again for at least the next two months. During this time, he infiltrated the military and ends up meeting Zeke upon Yelena’s encouragement.

To make things worse, Eren’s intention of getting to the enemy were the exact opposite of Hange’s cautious approach. This desire of wanting to attack the enemy from within, a sick play on how Reiner did the same to Eren years ago solidifies when Eren attacks Liberio to declare war in his own way.

After all, actions speak louder than words (Willy Tybur, this one’s for you.)

Mikasa confronted him, reminding him that he trampled over innocent young children to get revenge. This shift into a violent and independent approach signals sirens for the remaining characters.

Eren goes rogue on his own
Attack on Titan Manga, Chapter 123
The flashback shows us just how detached Eren had become from the others. There was no way he would go back to being the old Eren.

If the communication gap between Eren and the Corps couldn’t widen, then it does when they arrive on Paradis. Now locked up, Eren refuses to talk about the motives behind his actions and what he plans to do.

With the rise of the Yeagerists who created public resentment against the military, Paradis was involved in a bloody civil brawl. Eren has a proper conversation with childhood friends Armin and Mikasa one last time.

This is the last time we see the three talking to each other in the current events.

Fast forward to the last few chapters of the story and Eren’s fatal end seemed inevitable. With the rumbling in tow, its later revealed that Eren managed to kill off 80% of the world population.

Eren frighteningly resembles Macbeth, who said “I am in blood stepp’d in so far, should i wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er.” Eren had reached a point where finishing off what he started was easier than going back and fixing anything.

Therefore, to kill him was the only way to stop him. When he summoned the Alliance to the Paths, Eren said the same. With Mikasa being the strongest of them all, it made sense that she was the one who freed the world, and Eren, from suffering.

Eren meets the Alliance in the Paths; he tells them to fight
in the end, Mikasa killing Eren was the only solution.
Attack on Titan Manga, Chapter 133
Furthermore, Eren says that they have no option but to “fight” as their ideals will keep colliding.

Symbolically, Mikasa killing Eren obviously has a lot of weight. To see Mikasa, who had risked her life multiple times to save Eren in the past, kill him was heart wrenching. It was a tragic ending to a tragic love story.

Despite so, we also know that Eren wouldn’t dare leave Mikasa with his hateful last words. Implanting a “dream sequence” in her brain, Eren encourages her to forget about him and live on when everything is over.

This makes Mikasa understand something. She figures out that it had to be her, who brought Eren Jeager’s downfall.

And with this, she freed a girl so similar to herself, yet so different.

Ymir’s decisive choice

One aspect of the story that is sometimes looked over is that the truth isn’t known to Paradis and perhaps the rest of the world. Barring the main ensemble, Eren’s true intentions and Ymir’s ordeal remain in the dark.

It hurts to know how the conflict could’ve been sorted out much quicker than the grim ending we see in chapter 139.5.

Ymir’s story finally unraveled in front of us. She too, was waiting to be freed. However, her situation was one where she got trapped due to her complex relationship with Karl Fritz.

Funnily enough, it was not hatred of the world that made her “choose” Eren to carry out the rumbling. Love burdened her. Love has been a big yet invisible theme in the story, so seeing it make a bold return at the end was something that Isayama sensei deserves praise for.

According to Eren, Ymir had been in love with Karl Fritz all along. It is plausible that she developed Stockholm Syndrome after Fritz took her in as his concubine and exploited her.

In reality, Ymir was waiting to see if another woman, burdened by love, would be able to put her feelings aside and bring the fall of her lover.

With the release of chapter 139.5 it becomes clearer why Ymir had pinned her hopes on Mikasa; Ymir too had killed Fritz rather than letting him live. Mikasa did exactly that with Eren, giving Ymir the emotional stability she had been craving for millennia to break free.

Ymir learnt that the shackles of love can be broken.

However, her freedom needed the sacrifice of a nineteen year old boy who was fighting a war that he didn’t have a clue about. Till this date, our hearts ache for Eren. His and Armin’s final conversation is a testament to the fact that Eren was the most important factor in Ymir’s journey to freedom, but not the chosen one.

Therefore, call it fate or Ymir’s luck, Mikasa killing Eren was so much more than a World War-esque conflict drawing to a close.

Eren states he moved forward so Mikasa would do what she had to which was Mikasa killing Eren
Attack on Titan Manga, Chapter 139
Eren admits that his role was to just carry out actions that would result in Mikasa killing him; this was needed by Ymir so she could set herself free.

TLDR; Why did Mikasa kill Eren?

Mikasa killing Eren had two dimensions to it; synonymous with how there are two parallels running in the story. To many, the events were just an eruption that had been bubbling for a century.

But to the few who knew, it was the last leg of a two thousand year old tragedy.

In short, Mikasa killed Eren so not only could the rumbling stop, but the Power of the Titans could come to an end. Which, would only happen when Ymir embraces herself and sets herself free.

With Ymir doing the same, the titan powers finally vanished from Earth.

While killing Eren and bringing an end to this conflict only garnered temporary peace, the Alliance managed to save the world from extinction. Attack on Titan’s beauty lies in its realistic mockery of sacrifices, as the end shows us that conflict can never really end.

What do you think about Mikasa killing Eren? Do you think Eren should have won? Let us know in the comments below!

  • I believe Eren wanted Mikasa to kill him so she can free the world from all the titans because I believe Eren cares about her and possibly loves her and him saying he hated her was to make her ready for the moment to kill him and to make sure she didn’t hesitate when that time came and that could explain the kissing of the severed head meaning she realized his plan and she was saying I love you and good by by kissing him.

    • I get that but they don’t interpret it that way, instead it’s like a therapy session for Ymir, why didn’t Eren hug Mikasa and ask her to do it and what not, instead it’s about freeing herself?, It’s just silly on how Ymir watched and made Eren suffer, and made sure he accomplished nothing for himself and somehow compared Eren to king fritz of whom he’s not even close in terms of who they were, and the worst thing is that Ymir made Eren her slave for herself and never gave him freedom, Eren never had anything for himself besides misery

  • Anime are a form of escapism from the real world. These shows give us hope. I like that even if they are false hopes. AoT is too realistic. And eren has a scary resemblance to me(except I’m far more analytical than eren).
    And due to the growing female viewership (in anime) you have strong female characters in it. Which is good except it is impossible to accept a strong female lead with male mc!! Mikasa is soo strong it’s beyond humiliation to eren.
    Anime in the 1990s and 2000s was for nerds( catering only to our fantasies). We kind of lived in a bubble. But with AoT anime has become truly mainstream. Now the bubble’s burst and there’s nowhere to hide.
    So…. It’s time to step out and face the world head on.
    And yeah I’m never watching a single anime or maga ever!!

    • “eren resembles me”, “it’s impossible to accept a strong female” are you mentally ill? go get checked by a doctor

    • This is by far the most confusing comment I’ve come across. You’re saying it’s inconvenient for you that female characters are written as strong and worthy of our attention for once? If you’re unwilling to engage with modern versions of this medium, I don’t really know what you expect to find by “stepping out and facing the world head-on”. Anime is a form of artistic expression, and often art reflects real-world occurrences eg. horror movies of the 70’s reflecting satanic panic. By comparing yourself to Eren, you’re essentially saying you’re unwilling to make compromises, which you’ve illustrated well with your comment.

      • Only idiots believe Anime is synonymous with art and real world events. Your modern views have obviously left you incapable of utilizing an imagination because good anime is as original as possible. Deriving ideas from reality and the desire to artistically express yourself only impede the development of an imagination which is something the modern thinkers today lack. Sadly, you’re likely even one of those modern thinkers who tries hard to fit in regardless of whether you agree or not. I’m sure people like you will ruin anime one day with piles of historically fictitious crap.

  • I can’t believe they ended such a brutally amazing show in such a woke manner. Glad I dropped this series when I did.

  • Very good review. I always enjoyed the ending of it. It’s not like my all time favorite series ending or anything, but it was acceptable. For the people that call it woke, it wasn’t trying to be. It was just grounded in realism, even in a fictional world. Get over it. I wish a lot of people would just get over the fact that it didn’t end exactly how they wanted it to. People argue that the whole series is pointless because the extra pages prove that war still continues and the cycle of violence never ends because people don’t learn, but in the end I didn’t mind that because deep down I only really cared about the story of Ymir and Eren and his friends. The next generations will have to solve their own problems as well and that’s ok because that is life.

    • I thought it should have ended differently. Eren should have ate all the other titan-shifters so that l could have a clip of him destroying the world. It would have been very sudden and no morale but it would look really cool.

  • I don’t think Ymir had Stockholm Syndrome, or at least…I can’t accept that idea. Because honestly, the thought that the fate of an entire race was controlled by a Stockholm Syndrome is very disturbing and unrealistic. And linking an idea like that to a realistic theme like war by saying it’ll never stop is just ridiculous. Ymir was an important character in the story, but a poorly written one. Love and slavery can seem similar, but being a slave to love, that’s something which I honestly do not understand. I think there’s more to Ymir than just being a fanboy of her abuser because any person will break once they’re pushed beyond a certain limit. And what Ymir went through because of Karl Fritz exceeds every one of them. The idea that Ymir waited for 2000 years doesn’t completely seem like she loved him. It seemed more like…she wanted something from him. People are only that patient when it have something to gain from it.

  • Thanks for breaking the manga down for me. I finished watching the end of AoT anime and wanted more of the story. AoT entirely is a beautiful and tragic love story – told with the upmost respect. Eren needed to die and mikasa had to do it. Ymir had to see that her mental slavery was a choice (watching mikasa kiss Eren decapitated head). The ending doesn’t make you feel good but that’s what I like most about it. The decisions of each character seems the most realistic. This puts Romeo and Juliet in the back seat. Sorry William Shakespeare but Hajime Isayama got the upper hand.

  • I really loved the first three seasons of this anime. But it later got too complicated from season 3 part 2. I just wish it was more of an apocalyptic thing rather than the whole ymir arlean concept and and all plus the ending really fucking disappointed me. id rather prefer he was died protecting his ppl rather than mikasa killing him.

  • I think eren should’ve succeeded in the rumbling then gotten killed juss because the island needs a break seriously this long they have worried about titans eating them and the rest of the world killing them I feel bad for them all and that’s why I completely understand eren wanting to eradicate the world for the good of the islanders

  • Based on the logical analysis that I managed to consult from a hermetic crossfitter of 20 years, I’m confident to say that Mikasa is numbah wan.

  • It would of been nice if the story ended with Chapter 139, leaving the readers with “happy ending” imaginations for the citizens of Paradis. Unfortunately TRAGEDY is the common theme for AoT, and Chapter 139.5 definitely hit the readers with a reality check that “Life is not fair.” Basically Eren’s sacrifice was only able to grant a happy ending to his friends, especially to Armin and Mikasa. But once Mikasa and probably all the friends died, the tragedy train continues, with the sad realty of Paradis falling in the hands of violence. That ending with the new colossal tree though, it’s like I can hear Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park, reciting the classic line, “Life finds a way.”

  • Eren should have finished if he was going to kill of 80% of the world. Why get so far if he’s going to leave some to continue fighting?

  • They should have let Eren finish the job and come home to a nice peaceful country ready to heal and prosper. The other countries basically massacred them for centuries. Fuck all those countries with prejudice against people they don’t even know. So what, finally at the end of the show all of the characters ready to destroy their enemies across the water decide to have a conscience, it’s lazy bad writing. It would be like killing your leader before he finishes the objective to secure guaranteed freedom. So dumb.

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